Wafting, Filling and Spilling: Indoor Gardening with Nicola Sweeting


In the last of her excellent gardening posts, Nicola Sweeting tackles the type of botanics anyone can grow, indoor plants. And don’t forget, the Royal Academy has Painting The Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse for further inspiration, for those visiting London. Over to you Nicola

Perhaps you don’t have a garden, or you do and you love gardening so much that you want to garden indoors as well as out. So how about getting some houseplants? Not just enough to dot the odd one here and there, but enough to create an indoor garden?

There are two effective ways of approaching the arrangement of houseplants. You can arrange a variety of sizes and shapes together or stick to the same plants repeated for a more formal look. If you want to have a collection of plants in a variety of shapes and sizes, then a good way to start is to remember to include plants that are tall and wafty, round and filling and spilling and creeping – think wafting, filling, spilling.


left image abeautifulmess.com, right image etsy.com

You can stick to just one of each kind of plant for this type of arrangement or create a bigger display using the same principle. This approach works really well for putting all of your plants into one large pot.

You can play around a bit with the wafting, filling and spilling principle and use succulents and spiky plants to create an arrangement of rockets, mounds and spillers.


image vintagerevivals.com

If you want more unity in your arrangement you can match the plants or match the pots. I love these planters (below) by ceramicist Stella Baggot, available here.



Images apartmenttherapy.com and moritzfineblogdesings.com

Sedums and succulents look great planted singly in matching pots and vases, as well as grouped into one larger pot.

Here are some great, easy going plants to use in your arrangements. They are all available from crocus.co.uk as well as most garden centres.
From top left clockwise –Tall and wafty: Howea Fosteriana, Aspidistra elatior. Fillers:Calathea ‘Medallion’ Kalanchoe ‘Piton Pink. Spillers: Tradescantia ‘Green Hill’.

Rockets: Howorthia (left above) and Mounds: Echinocactus (right).

Thanks Nicola! Your posts have kept us gardeners thinking and planning during the hard-to-garden month of February. For more inspiration, I’d also recommend checking out the New York Times excellent T Magazine ‘How To ‘section, where you can learn about plant placement with Satoshi Kawamoto here.

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